John 5:42
But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(42) Ye have not the love of God.—The principle which excludes the seeking honour from men, is the love of God. They were, they said, jealous for God’s honour. The first precept of the Law, and the foundation of the Theocracy, was the love of God. This every Jew professed, and bound round brow and arm the holy texts which declared it (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21). The Pharisees made broad the phylacteries which contained these words (Matthew 23:5). They had them without, but they had not the principle within. There were sure marks which He had read in the heart as plain as the letters worn on the body, and therefore knew that they had not the love of God in them.

5:39-44 The Jews considered that eternal life was revealed to them in their Scriptures, and that they had it, because they had the word of God in their hands. Jesus urged them to search those Scriptures with more diligence and attention. Ye do search the Scriptures, and ye do well to do so. They did indeed search the Scriptures, but it was with a view to their own glory. It is possible for men to be very studious in the letter of the Scriptures, yet to be strangers to its power. Or, Search the Scriptures, and so it was spoken to them in the nature of an appeal. Ye profess to receive and believe the Scripture, let that be the judge. It is spoken to us as advising or commanding all Christians to search the Scriptures. Not only read them, and hear them, but search them; which denotes diligence in examining and studying them. We must search the Scriptures for heaven as our great end; For in them ye think ye have eternal life. We must search the Scriptures for Christ, as the new and living Way, that leads to this end. To this testimony Christ adds reproofs of their unbelief and wickedness; their neglect of him and his doctrine. Also he reproves their want of the love of God. But there is life with Jesus Christ for poor souls. Many who make a great profession of religion, yet show they want the love of God, by their neglect of Christ and contempt of his commandments. It is the love of God in us, the love that is a living, active principle in the heart, which God will accept. They slighted and undervalued Christ, because they admired and overvalued themselves. How can those believe, who make the praise and applause of men their idol! When Christ and his followers are men wondered at, how can those believe, the utmost of whose ambition is to make a fair show in the flesh!I receive not honour ... - "I do not say these things because I am desirous of human applause, but to account for the fact that you do not believe on me. The reason is, that you have not the love of God in you." In this passage we see:

1. That we should not seek for human applause. It is of very little value, and it often keeps men from the approbation of God, John 5:44.

2. They who will not believe on Jesus Christ give evidence that they have no love for God.

3. The reason why they do not believe on him is because they have no regard for his character, wishes, or law.

Love of God - Love to God.

In you - In your hearts. You do not love God.

42. not the love of God in you—which would inspire you with a single desire to know His mind and will, and yield yourselves to it, in spite of prejudice and regardless of consequences. You pretend a great deal of religion, and to do many things out of love to God, and a zeal for the glory of God; but though you can cheat others, yet you cannot deceive me: I, that search the heart, and try the reins, and am a witness to your actions, know that, whatsoever you pretend, the true love of God dwelleth not in you; and that is the reason why you do not receive me. But I know you,.... Being the omniscient God, he knew not only their persons, but their hearts, the thoughts of their hearts; what was in them, and what was wanting in them: particularly,

that ye have not the love of God in you; and which is not in any man's heart naturally; for the carnal mind is enmity to God; and men, by nature, are haters of him, and enemies in their minds to him, till this grace, which is a fruit of the Spirit, is implanted in them, in regeneration: love to God, is one of the weightier matters of the law, the Jews passed over; without which, all the actions of men signify nothing: this they made great pretensions to, and would have had it thought, that it was from love to God, that they sought to kill Jesus, for his violation of the sabbath, and making himself equal with God; but it was not from a delight in the sabbath, or from love to the Lord of it, but out of ill will to Christ, that they expressed such dissembled piety and false zeal: they were lovers of themselves, and not God; they were covetous men, and loved the world, and the things in it, which is inconsistent with the love of the Father; and besides, if they had loved him, they would have loved him that was begotten of him, and not sought to have killed him.

But I know you, that ye have not the {r} love of God in you.

(r) Love toward God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 5:42. ἀλλʼ ἔγνωκα … but I know you, etc.; that is, I know why you do not receive me; the reason is that you have not the love of God in yourselves, and therefore cannot appreciate or understand one who acts in concert with God; if therefore they did offer Him homage, it could not be God in Him they worshipped (Holtzmann). [The motive of Jesus in making His claims is a subject inviting inquiry and full of significance.]42. But I know you] Once more Christ appears as the searcher of hearts; comp. John 1:47; John 1:50, John 2:24-25, John 4:17-18; John 4:48, John 5:14.

in you] Or, in yourselves, in your hearts. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart’ (Deuteronomy 7:5) was written on their broad phylacteries (see note on Matthew 23:5), but it had no place in their hearts and no influence on their lives. It is the want of love, the want of will (John 5:40) that makes them reject and persecute the Messiah.John 5:42. Ἔγνωκα ὑμᾶς, I have you in my knowledge [I know you]) By this ray of light He penetrates the hearts of His hearers. He means this: I know [novi, οἶδα] the Father, John 5:32, “There is another that beareth witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesseth of Me is true;” and I have known [cognovi, I am aware] that you are strangers to Him. Jesus spake this with great compassion. It is not for My sake, but for yours, He saith, I grieve.—ἀγάπην, the love) by which I am recognised as the Son of the Father’s love, John 5:20, “the Father loveth the Son,” and which would teach you to seek glory from God alone. [Things divine are not distinguished from things alien to God, save only by this love: John 5:43, “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”—V. g.]—ἐν ἐαυτοῖς, in yourselves) This expression has an emphasis, and contains the cause why the Jews need to be sent back [referred] to the men, who in Scripture testify concerning Christ.I know (ἔγνωκα)

See on John 2:24.

The love of God

Love toward God. This was the summary of their own law. The phrase occurs elsewhere in the Gospels only in Luke 11:42.

In you (ἐν ἑαυτοῖς)

Rev., rightly, in yourselves. Compare John 6:53; 1 John 5:10; Mark 4:17.

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